Bentley achieves pre-recession demand levels in 2011

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 3, 2012

Bentley has returned to pre-recession levels of demand in 2011, reporting strong growth in all major markets. Worldwide sales increased 37% to 7,003 for the year. Sales were accelerating as the year progressed. Last month's sales were 1,059 units, an increase by 69% on a year-on-year basis. Last December was Bentley's best month since its pre-recession record of 2007. It is also the second best month in the company's history.

Last year, Bentley sold 2,021 vehicles, an increase of 32%, in the United States, which remains its number one market. For the first time ever, its second largest market is China with sales in the region virtually doubling to 1,839 units, surpassing the previous year's record before the end of July. This feat is even more stunning considering the company has been present in Mainland China for less than a decade. 

The company’s sales in continental European rebounded to 1,187, which is an increase of 53%, thanks to the strong demand in Germany where sales have risen by 88%. In the United Kingdom, the company saw an increase of more than 5% with 1,031 units sold despite the past months being extremely challenging. Operations in the Middle East market are also positive despite the political instability that has plagued certain markets.

Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, Wolfgang Dürheimer, said: “It has been a tremendously good year for Bentley. The dramatic sales growth reflects a global strength to the Brand and a recognition of the quality, craftsmanship and engineering excellence of our cars. It is also testament to the work of the entire Bentley Team whose passion and daily commitment has delivered this outstanding result. It has been particularly pleasing to see renewed interest in Bentley in established as well as and new and emerging markets, all of which is contributing to a positive financial result for 2011."

Bentley bets on new V8-powered models

Both the Bentley Continental GT V8 coupé and GTC V8 convertible are powered by a new 4.0 liter, twin turbocharged engine that provides superior power and outstanding levels of efficiency.

This new Bentley V8 engine could provide up to 500 bhp (507 PS/373 kW) of output at 6,000 rpm and up to 660 Nm (487 lb ft) of torque available between 1,700 rpm and 5000 rpm. This V8 engine is paired to a new close-ratio eight-speed automatic gearbox to allow the new V8 Continental models to sprint from zero to 60 mph (100 km/h) in around five seconds and reach a top speed of over 180 mph (290 km/h).

Despite these dynamic figures, the new Bentley Continental GT V8 coupé and GTC V8 convertible boasts of superb levels of fuel efficiency and carbon dioxide emissions, having the ability to cruise 500 miles (800 km) on a single tank of fuel.

Bentley will announce full and official figures in early 2012. These new V8 Continental models basically realize the carmaker’s environmental commitment to develop a new powertrain that is around 40-percent more efficient in terms of fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Interestingly, this new V8 engine features variable displacement with a state-of-the-art engine management system, which ensures a smoother seamless transition from V8 mode to V4 mode during light throttle load. In addition, the new V8 engine from Bentley comes with high pressure direct injection, a new turbo-charger packaging and energy recuperation via the charging system, as well as thermal management and low friction bearings.

Topics: bentley, sales

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